Danny Dreyer Responds to “A Popular Myth About Running Injuries”

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An article in the NYTimes today by Gretchen Reynolds talks about some interesting results from a study of 1000 NON-runners who were given a pair of lightweight, neutral shoes and told to run for a year. They were asked to wear a GPS watch and report any injuries. The findings of the study imply that wearing a neutral shoe could actually be safer than wearing a shoe that professes to “help” your condition.

In my ChiRunning training classes I always get asked about which shoes work best. My immediate response is always the same: the shoe that feels the most comfortable. I say that because it will be the shoe that does the LEAST in terms of altering what your foot would naturally do. I'm glad the scientific community is now up to speed with common sense and that the shoe companies are, once again, exposed for having marketing plans that care more about their bottom line than the health and safety of runners. This is exactly the type of study that the running shoe companies SHOULD have been doing all along for all models of their shoes. If you have to use one criteria on which to base your purchase of a shoe, I'd have to say, “Buy the most comfortable one.” If your shoes aren't comfortable, chances are someone sold you the wrong shoe.

In addition to my answer about which shoes to buy, I always use the caveat that it's NEVER the shoe that, in the end, makes a better runner. It's how the runner runs. If you run in a way that will hurt your body, you'll get injured. Don't blame it on your shoes. When I was first learning to be a woodworker, a mentor once told me a quote I'll never forget. “It's a poor workman who blames his tools.”

Go for comfort combined with skill and you'll be a happy runner.

Read the original article from the NY Times Well Blog here

Posted in Gear